The Cincinnati Reds made a move that was applauded by the majority of Reds fans this offseason, the firing of manager Dusty Baker
was a huge move. That move and the signing of pitching coach Bryan Price to be manager has sparked some rumors regarding the Reds.
So far with the Reds there have not been any gigantic rumors, some small scale releases, some speculation and the uncertain future of second baseman Brandon Phillips and what to do with close Aroldis Chapman.
Second baseman Brandon Phillips has been at the center of some potential trade rumors a few weeks. Speculation was that the Reds were trying to work out a deal with the Atlanta Braves. Cincinnati would send Brandon Phillips and his unreasonable contract to Atlanta in return for Dan Uggla and a high prospect. That rumor ran rampant a few weeks ago but has cooled off recently leading to speculation Phillips may be staying.
General Manager Walt Jocketty said this past week “Brandon texted me asking if we were looking to trade him? I told him no, we were not talking to anyone about him.” That statement holds little weight considering Jocketty said Baker would be manager in 2014 only to fire him two days later. The chances of Phillips being in Cincinnati in 2014 are about 40/60.
Cincinnati is going to have to replace outfielder Shin Soo Choo and pitcher Bronson Arroyo, both will be lost to free agency. In the outfield Cincinnati has the option to move up speedster Billy Hamilton or they can go out on the market and look for an experienced outfielder. Middle of the road options include Andres Torres or Peter Bourjos. At what point does it become indifferent between Hamilton and a middle of the road outfielder?
Aside from the outfield question the Reds will lose Bronson Arroyo to free agency. An aging Arroyo will likely as for more than the Reds are willing to pay. With Arroyo gone Tony Cingrani will officially be the 5th starter in the rotation barring any potential trades regarding Homer Bailey.
Cincinnati could try to trade for another start, highly unlikely but the Tampa Bay Rays look motivated to trade their ace David Price. Price would be a great compliment to Mat Latos and Johnny Cueto.
There were some moves in the minors recently for the Reds as the club has elected to let pitcher Greg Reynolds and fan favorite catcher Corky Miller explore free agency. Reynolds won’t be missed much in Cincinnati, unfortunately for him his arm has never come around. Miller has been a fan favorite in Cincinnati for years, it will be a shame to see him go.
Currently though the rumor mill is a little dry regarding the Reds. Things should pick up this week as free agents can start signing with clubs. Cincinnati doesn’t appear to be a big player but the front office always plays things close to the chest.